May 21, 2019

The FAA recently published a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking expanding a previously proposed rule to allow aviation maintenance technician schools to use competency-based training and satellite training locations.

In 2015, the FAA published NPRM titled “Aviation Maintenance Technician Schools,” proposing to amend 14 CFR Part 147. Several public comments encouraged the FAA to consider allowing competency-based training in lieu of set minimum times and permitting the use of satellite training locations.

The FAA’s proposed rule for competency-based training will allow for completion of training based on knowledge and skill requirements, and will outline requirements for competency-based training program, including mandatory competency assessments. This program would provide a method for students with previous experience in the field or similar fields to get credit for their skills and knowledge.

Zach Ungerleider, Textron Aviation aftermarket sales manager for Texas and Louisiana, A&P and NBAA Young Professionals Council member, is a proponent for mentoring in the A&P training process, calling an A&P license a “license to learn,” and believes the allowance for competency-based training will result in more effective technicians.

“This proposed rule would allow more flexibility for students with relevant experience,” sad Ungerleider. “It would require skill assessments at specific stages and the student won’t move on until they’ve mastered those tasks. This is a very practical approach to maintenance training. You can only learn so much sitting in the classroom – skills are best taught through hands-on training.”

Ungerleider also commended the FAA for responding to industry comment and making substantive changes to the original NPRM.

Authorization to conduct training at satellite training locations would allow Part 147 training providers to train at high schools or other locations. The FAA states this change will expand the capacity to recruit and educate future mechanics.

“NBAA supports the FAA’s expanded scope of the original NPRM, allowing competency-based training and training at satellite locations,” said Brian Koester, NBAA’s senior manager of flight operations and regulations. “These changes provide greater flexibility for training mechanics, which will help maintenance training providers meet the growing needs of the aviation industry.”

Public comments are due to the FAA on or before June 17. NBAA encourages maintenance training providers and others with an interest in maintenance training to submit practical recommendations for implementation, particularly regarding the specific requirements for competency-based training programs in §147.22.

Review the proposal in the Federal Register.